Today in Sports History: May 8

In 1996, New York Yankees pitcher, Dwight Gooden, won his first American League game against the Detroit Tigers, 10-3. 

Gooden was originally drafted in 1982 during the first round as the fifth pick of the New York Mets. His first debut as a professional was in 1984. From 1984 until 1994 Gooden played with the Mets until he became a free agent. 

He was signed by the New York Yankees in 1996 and played until 1997. He was granted free agency after the 1997 season and was picked up by the Cleveland Indians. In 1998 and 1999 Gooden played for the Indians until being granted free agency once again. 

In 2000, he was picked up and signed by the Houston Astros, but then sold to the Tampa Bay Rays. After a month, Tampa Bay released Gooden back to free agency. He was picked up and signed for his last season by the New York Yankees. 

Throughout his 16 seasons, he played in 430 regular-seasoned games with a pitching record of 194 wins and 112 losses. He pitched a total of 2800.2 innings and 2,293 strikeouts. His Earned Run Average was 3.51 and his Walk and Hits Per Inning Pitched was 1.26. He had a total of 741 At-Bats, 67 Runners Batted In, eight Home Runs, and one stolen base. His batting average was .196 and his on-base plus slugging percentage was .474. 

All within his playing time at the New York Mets, he was a four-time All-Star, named the Rookie of the Year in 1984, National League Cy Young recipient in 1985, World Series Champion in 1986, and National League Silver Slugger in 1992. 

After his retirement, Gooden got into some trouble and if it weren’t for those off-the-field issues, he would have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. At 57-years-old he continues to work on his recovery to get back to where he was. 

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